Today we’d like to introduce you to Catina Bryant.
Catina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have been in the fashion industry over 15 years on the corporate side as Sr. Buyer, Director of Operations and Planning Director for major fashion houses and retailers. While working for Linda Loudermilk in Los Angeles and the Director of Operation I was introduced to the world of eco. Loudermilk was a very high-end couture eco brand and I was responsible for overseeing the retail and wholesale divisions. Because we were in the midst of opening a flagship store that encompassed all things luxury and eco, even the building materials, I had to acclimate myself to the eco world. In doing so, I became very proficient in sustainability. I even became LEED certified. Earth-friendly became a way of life for me. So when I started my clothing brand, my lifestyle carried over. I started with novelty printed tees, leggings and pencil skirts made from 100% bamboo. I did this in tandem with my corporate job until I was blessed enough to build Dai Moda up enough to sustain me.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has defiantly not been easy. I have had tremendous ups and downs. Working in the industry for so many years allotted me the opportunity to have major connections from the relationships that I had built. I had made millions for others and I had the “blueprint”. Although I was able to go directly to source to make things happen, nothing is guaranteed and life has a funny way of not allowing you to cut corners. Very early on I was given the opportunity to be carried in Macy’s. This was huge for me. I was very excited and hit the ground running. I was fortunate enough to be able to fund my project myself so when I got the very big Macy’s order, I did not go through a factor for financing. Long story short, in the midst of production, Macy’s closed 117 doors and my orders were canceled. If I have gone through a factor that would have been my insurance and I would have only lost about 10%. But because I was being greedy and didn’t want to pay the interest fee, I lost everything and eventually had to file bankruptcy. I had other setbacks, but this one was major. I had nothing and had to start all over.
Dai Moda – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
First, let me tell you the meaning of Dai Moda. Dai is my daughter’s name and it means greatness in Japanese. Moda means fashion in Italian. Dai Moda is simply, great fashion. We are a 100% eco company. It is more than just a chic, oh so fab clothing line. It is a way of life. Not only are all of fabrics and dyes earth-friendly, but all of the company’s practices and efforts are as well. The culture of the company is simply pure and giving. To donate time, energy, revenue and efforts to the underprivileged and less fortunate is the heart and soul of the company.
All of our products are created and produced “green”. We are fully SKAL (control union certification) CERTIFIED for organic cotton production. Beyond the norm of organic cotton, we also offer fabrics made from milk, corn, bamboo, soybean, and pearl in the collection. All of these fabrics are earth-friendly and/or sustainable to our environment and in most cases, biodegradable.
Not only are our fabrics eco, but the dyes we use are vegetable based and our company practices are in some way less stressful on our earth. Of course, we recycle, but we also carefully monitor our carbon footprint and package and ship our merchandise eco-mindful.
DAI MODA, eco-chic style, true free spirit….with love (for the earth and each other).
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me has changed over the years. I went to college to be a doctor and I have 2 degrees that I have never used. I dropped out of grad school and moved to England to pursue fashion when my father died and was too depressed to work with abused children for my internship any longer. I literally sat in my car crying at the thought of going into the building where I had to be strong for others when I felt so weak. At that moment I switched careers. I have always been fashion forward, receiving Best Dressed in high school, and sewing for and styling anybody who would allow me. So I turned my passion into my career. And once my career flourished, the six figures did not sustain my happiness. I wanted to do something that filled my soul. I wanted to be in a position to give back to my community while saving the planet and keeping people fresh at the same time. 🙂 So today I define success as being happy doing what you love.
- Website: www.daimoda.com
- Phone: 2138048985
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @daimoda
- Facebook: @daimoda
- Twitter: @daimoda